adjective, ton·i·er, ton·i·est. Informal.

high-toned; stylish: a tony nightclub.

Origin of tony

An Americanism dating back to 1875–80; tone + -y1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tonier


adjective tonier or toniest

US and Canadian informal stylish or distinctive; classy

Word Origin for tony

C20: from tone


noun plural Tonies or Tonys

any of several medallions awarded annually in the United States by a professional school for the performing arts for outstanding achievement in the theatre

Word Origin for Tony

from Tony, the nickname of Antoinette Perry (died 1946), US actress and producer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tonier



1877, American English slang, from high-toned. It was the name of a reddish-brown fashion color in the 1920s.


1947, awards given by American Theatre Wing (New York), from nickname of U.S. actress, manager, and producer Antoinette Perry (1888-1946).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper